It’s official – the top four instant messaging applications now have more active monthly users than the top four social networks, and because of this, brands are scrambling to get a strategy in place to take advantage of the shift. Fear not. Here’s an overview of all you need to know to understand the challenges and opportunities of the new age of instant messaging.Facebook, WeChat, and Dark SocialFacebook made headlines in 2014 when it purchased messaging app WhatsApp for a whopping $22 billion. Did Mark Zuckerberg fall for a gimmick? Far from it.Early on, Facebook identified the increasing interactions taking place outside the public domain of Facebook. This is called “Dark Social” and has nothing to do with “The Force” or Jedi mind tricks. Rather, it refers to how users share information via channels called “private” (for instance links shared through emails or messaging apps).Internet marketing analysts RadiumOne, claim that 82% of total shares now occur in the domain of the “dark social web.” But the phenomenon of the messaging app is not just linked to Facebook or Whatsapp. On the other side of the globe, China’s mega social media platform WeChat, is changing the way the Chinese interact.In fact, WeChat is expanding the boundaries of personal freedoms in China – what started as a mobile application is now an all-in-one social platform with its integrated WeChat Wallet, online ordering features, and the WeChat City Services Urban for setting doctor appointments and paying bills.A more sensitive side to big brands

Source: Messaging Apps, Dark Social and Customer Service Bots | Social Media Today